Frank La Mantia worked backstage for more than two decades at American Ballet Theatre, earning one promotion after another despite his famously hot temper. In the process, he became the head carpenter and the company became his home away from home, the place where he found some of his closest friends and his sense of identity.
There seemed to be an explosion of young men in knit caps and young women in leather pants watching as New York City Ballet recently performed a trio of Balanchine classics. In fact, according to the New York Times, the average age in the David H. Koch Theater seemed to have dropped by years, if not decades.
A website comparing dancers’ pay and conditions across the world has been launched to inform young dancers starting their careers, according to The Stage.
What do you get when you combine a driven, neoclassical choreographer with a business-savvy impresaria and an Irish feminist composer? You get the newly formed Ballet Evolution, a collective of artists led by choreographer Jonathan Tabbert, Chamber Music Charleston director Sandra Nikolajevs, and composer and performer Laura Ball.
Maria Caruso has made her mark on the Pittsburgh dance scene by telling other people’s stories through her medical-themed ballets performed by her company, Bodiography Contemporary Ballet.
Carla Körbes, the Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer who announced last year that she would retire at the end of this season, will be the artist-in-residence at this year’s Vail International Dance Festival, according to the New York Times’ ArtsBeat blog.
Tamara Rojo, artistic director of English National Ballet, raised the game of the entire ballet profession last week by announcing a program of all-female choreography for ENB’s 2015–16 season.
Large-scale professional ballet has been absent from the local scene since Charleston [SC] Ballet Theatre shut down operations in early 2013, ending a 26-year run.
Skills Rebekah Burke learned during years of ballet and gymnastics classes helped her earn a win in the recent U.S. Aerial Championships in New York City.
After 22 years with the company, Boston Ballet principal guest artist Yury Yanowsky is retiring from dancing to focus on choreographing. And he’s going out in style: Yanowsky and his wife, Boston Ballet principal dancer Kathleen Breen Combes, are scheduled to dance the lead roles of Armand and Marguerite on opening night of Val Caniparoli’s The Lady of the Camellias on February 26.
If one of your holiday traditions is to see the Joffrey Ballet’s production of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker, this will be your last year to do so.
When 15-year-old Australian ballet dancer Harrison Lee took top prize this month at the Prix de Lausanne, he showed his trademark control when called forward from a line of finalists—some three and four years his senior.
Karla Sweeney, 66, the founder and longtime director of St. Croix Ballet in Stillwater, Minnesota, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 and had been in hospice for more than a year, died last Thursday.
Puppeteer Basil Twist, singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega, baroque dance specialist Béatrice Massin, and New York University philosopher Tamsin Shaw are among the new group of fellows who will be in residence at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU, the first international institute devoted to the creation and study of ballet.
Lara O’Brien, a principal dancer with Carolina Ballet, has signed an agreement to open the first Tutu School franchise outside of California with a new location opening in downtown Raleigh in the spring.
Who are the world’s richest dancers? As Insider Monkey lists the top 10 richest dancers, it notes that not every dancer is rewarded in the same way, and net worth doesn’t always depend on talent and uniqueness.
“Those of us in the Saturday morning adult ballet class at Casco Bay Movers studio in Portland recently learned a new word: to ‘balter,’ as defined by the urban dictionary, is ‘to dance artlessly, without particular grace or skill but usually with enjoyment,’ ” writes Stephanie Eglinton in an editorial column about her adult ballet class printed in the Portland [ME] Press Herald.
Being a ballet dad is about showing up, being there, and putting your whole heart into it, writes Huffington Post contributor Richard Greenberg, along with “teaching your child how to cope with hurt feelings, how to redirect frustration, and how to avoid being diminished by the behavior of others.”
In a major coup, Paris Opera Ballet has secured one of the dance world’s biggest names, William Forsythe, as the company’s associate choreographer, reported the New York Times.
For their fall 2015 menswear collection presentation, Rag & Bone forwent the traditional runway and instead created a short film featuring iconic ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and street dancer Lil’ Buck.
Alberta Ballet is participating in an exchange with the Houston Ballet in the hopes of exposing audiences in both cities to vibrant new talent. The Canadian company danced in Houston, Texas, at the end of January, reported CBC News.
The activity of turning out, or external hip rotation, is one that is highly desired by dancers of every genre at one time or another, but especially by dancers of classical ballet. Although dancers are taught to turn their feet out, it is often unclear to what degree and how to properly achieve the desired turnout.
Japanese-born ballerina Misa Kuranaga has been a Boston Ballet principal since 2009 in spite of a physical build that would normally be considered unsuited to the art. The BDC Wire reported that in a recent interview with the Huffington Post, the ballerina opened up about her struggle making her presence known in the world of ballet and how she overcame what others perceived as limitations.
“I’m not really conscious of how to provoke interest,” offers Justin Peck, which is a little strange, given just how much interest the choreographer and New York City Ballet dancer is getting these days. On February 6, Magnolia Pictures will release Ballet 422, Jody Lee Lipes’ feature-film documentary of the making of Peck’s Paz de la Jolla.
For his first show with the Gainesville [GA] Ballet Company, John Lilly apparently put his bloomers on backward. Later, the clothing apparel fell to his knees during a ballroom dancing scene in Cinderella.
In ballet, many are called but few are chosen, and tradition has long held that no one is obliged to explain why one dancer makes the cut and another does not. That wasn’t the case for contestants at last June’s USA International Ballet Competition (IBC) in Jackson, Mississippi. Dancers who did not advance through the rounds—or receive the award or medal they hoped for—could uncover the secrets of that elusive “why not me” by participating in the IBC’s Competitor Evaluation Program.
Glissades are common connecting steps for jumps and therefore important for students to master. There are two major types: 1) glissades in petit allegro, which close in fifth position, and 2) glissades in medium or grand allegro, which failli through fifth to end in or continue through fourth position.
I gave a copy of the Pittsburgh Ballet piece [“Ballet Scene: A Sensory-Sensitive Show,” July 2014] to a friend who has a child with autism. He is a classical pianist and founded a local support organization for parents and children with autism. He approached a company about opening their Nutcracker dress rehearsal, but they couldn’t accommodate him. They suggested another company, who agreed to open their December 12 rehearsal to these local families. You planted the seed and look what grew.
NOMINATED BY: Joy Sheffield, friend: “Chauniece opened Ballet on Wheels in 2002 to help build a better Memphis community through dance. Chauniece ensures her students are well-prepared for every dance opportunity. She gives her dance staff full discretion in their classrooms and encourages them to come up with innovative ideas to engage students in the classroom and through community-based dance programs. She’s making a positive impact on her students, staff, and community.”
At 72, Mary Loyland is finally getting a chance to do something she’s always wanted to do—perform in a ballet.
Guy Noir, the much-loved radio sleuth created by Garrison Keillor for his Prairie Home Companion radio program, springs to life at the Sheldon Theatre, Red Wing, Minnesota, on January 31.
Winners of this year’s National Dance Awards, which are decided by 50 dance critics from across the UK and celebrate excellence in professional dance, have been announced, according to a Royal Opera House press release.
Summerville [SC] Civic Ballet, a nonprofit company for dancers ages 9 and older, has designed the First Annual Lowcountry Dance Invitational in an effort to unite local studio dancers and choreographers while promoting dance education and appreciation in the Lowcountry.
Patrick Scully wants to stage a ballet this summer in the Twin Cities that takes place on the Mississippi River and stars dozens of vessels as the “dancers.” The idea, called the Mississippi River Boat Ballet, might seem a bit far-fetched, except that Scully has pulled off a boat ballet before.
A new documentary about American Ballet Theatre in honor of the ballet company’s 75th anniversary will premiere nationwide May 15 at 9pm on PBS’ American Masters program.
Ever since it was reported that The Royal Ballet would visit Washington and Chicago in 2015, rumors have been swirling about a New York stop. The New York Times’ ArtsBeat blog has announced that the rumors are true.
A small ballet class in Mexico received a big surprise recently when they were sent a donation of dance attire from Tillamook’s Oregon Coast Dance Center, reported the Headlight Herald.
Two dancers from Italy have created a website that provides free recordings of musical variations and pas de deux from popular ballet often danced by students in competition or auditions, such as Cinderella, Diana and Actaeon, Giselle, and Paquita.
Movie and TV star Tom Skerritt, perhaps best known to balletomanes for his portrayal as a former dancer and father to Leslie Browne and husband to Shirley MacLaine in 1977’s The Turning Point, will be appearing in the title role of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of Don Quixote.
Included among the dance offerings at the 39th Spoleto Festival USA will be the Scottish Ballet with its acclaimed adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.
While most of Laura Casellini’s friends were heading off to college and starting their adult lives, the 18-year-old East Greenbush, New York, resident was re-learning to swallow, walk, and speak.
New York City–based company Ajkun Ballet Theatre is now accepting applications from career-oriented dancers ages 14 and older seeking to audition for it summer intensive, “Performing in New York.”
Amanda Schull started dancing before she could recite the alphabet, and by the time she was in her second year of college, she was granted a full scholarship to the San Francisco Ballet School. Soon she became a performer, occasionally dancing featured roles.
The School of Pennsylvania Ballet Summer Intensive audition tour begins this week in Philadelphia and will visit seven additional cities over the next several weeks.
Ballet is a beautiful art form, but the day-to-day work involved isn’t always glamorous. It can be hard for students to think of themselves as participants in a grand artistic tradition when they’re repeating exercises for the 500th time. That’s what Genevieve Le Gall Fortner, the founder and director of Oxford Ballet School in Oxford, Mississippi, noticed over a period of several years: her ballet students lacked motivation.
We teach beginning dancers to face the corners of the room squarely when in effacé and croisé. As dancers become more advanced, they will need to adjust to facing along a flatter diagonal.
In Soviet Russia in 1930, culture and art were alive, but Stalin was already turning revolution into a brutal state orthodoxy. With the launch of his 1928 five-year plan, and its attendant political persecutions, artists found themselves in serious danger if they were considered to have fallen foul of the official cultural line, reported the Guardian.
Community members and dance aficionados are invited to attend an open house at the Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy’s new Jessie Eccles Quinney Ballet Centre, Salt Lake City, on January 10 from 9am to noon.
On Sunday night in Wausau, Wisconsin, about two dozen sleep-deprived young musicians, dancers, actors, and producers between the ages of 9 and 25 performed a play and a rock ballet that came together in a mere 24 hours.
San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker Interactive Storybook application, which launched during the 2013 holiday season, is now available and optimized for Android tablets in addition to iPads.